A busy December in Brussels: sprint before Christmas

This December is a hot month for the European agenda. We will have several fronts and many moments of action, with a European Council on December 10 and 11 and a plenary session of the European Parliament that will begin on 14. What are the fronts?

Budget pulse

Hungary and Poland decided last week to cast their veto on the budget package, which includes the € 750 billion Recovery Fund from which Spain could get up to 140 billion. It is in retaliation for the agreement on a rule of law mechanism that could cut off their access to European funds for their attack on judicial independence.

Press conference of the Prime Ministers of Poland (in the foreground) and Hungary.  (EFE)
Press conference of the Prime Ministers of Poland (in the foreground) and Hungary. (EFE)

The safest thing is that this matter is pending until the summit of December 10 and 11. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, intends to hold this meeting in person in Brussels, because the videoconference format has proven to be of little use in solving serious problems.

When Hungary and Poland formalized their veto two weeks ago, it was thought that a change in the wording could be enough, but Budapest and Warsaw are directly opposed, and the rest of the Member States and the European Parliament do not feel like making concessions. That is why many voices in Brussels believe that it is only a matter of waiting for them to continue seeing each other alone and without the possibility of obtaining concessions so that they end up withdrawing their bluff in exchange for some minimum transfer.

The agony of Brexit

After Michel Barnier, chief negotiator of the European Commission, traveled to London on Friday after a difficult week, this past weekend has been one of intense negotiations. Many assume that the Frenchman’s trip is due to a good signal from the British side.

Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, in London for another round of Brexit negotiations.  (EFE)Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, in London for another round of Brexit negotiations.  (EFE)
Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, in London for another round of Brexit negotiations. (EFE)

The three pending issues are those already known to all: governance of the agreement, fishing and ‘level-playing field’ or equal conditions. With 95% of the agreement completed in its technical aspects, as they have assured from the European Commission, these three issues are linked to an ideological element. That is precisely what is making them especially difficult to negotiate.

Once an agreement is reached, if at all, the job is not done. The ratification process will not be straightforward either, and Brexit will surely have to continue to be paid attention to well into December. The European Parliament has been willing to ratify the agreement as late as is December the 28th.

If it is not possible to close a deal, it goes without saying that the matter will gain importance as Member States have to prepare for an unknown scenario in their trade with the United Kingdom. as of January 1, 2021. Again, deal or no deal, Brexit will be one of the main issues at this month’s summit and will keep diplomats busy for weeks to come.

Turkey continues to give problems

European leaders promised Cyprus, which was calling for sanctions against Turkey for its oil and gas exploration in Cypriot and Greek waters, that they would take up the issue in December. In the meantime, Ankara would be offered the possibility of building a “positive agenda”. Despite strong friction between Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron, the dialogue between Berlin, Brussels and Ankara has not ceased.

Ships of the Turkish navy in the Aegean.  (Reuters)Ships of the Turkish navy in the Aegean.  (Reuters)
Ships of the Turkish navy in the Aegean. (Reuters)

But the tensions between the Hellenic, Cypriot and Turkish governments have not abated either. “Europe cannot pretend that Turkey is acting as an acceptable player in the regionNikolaos Dendias, the Greek foreign minister, complained last week, calling Ankara’s behavior “delinquent and provocative.” Last week, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy, the Spanish Josep Borrell, explained to the European Parliament that the EU bloc is at a “critical moment” in its relationship with Turkey.

The European Parliament called in a non-binding resolution addressed to the meeting of leaders on December 10 and 11, that the European Union “act and impose harsh sanctions in response to the illegal actions of Turkey.” The atmosphere will heat up in the coming days, especially if there is any kind of tension in the Aegean Sea.

This week

This coming week, the one prior to the key dates of December, it will also come loaded, with meeting of finance ministers of the Eurozone and the European Union this Monday and Tuesday, with a review of the national budget plans, including the Spanish one, which have received the general approval of the European Commission.

Huawei's counter at an electronics conference in China.  (Reuters)Huawei's counter at an electronics conference in China.  (Reuters)
Huawei’s counter at an electronics conference in China. (Reuters)

Also on Monday there will be a videoconference of ministers of Education and also of Youth. It will be the turn of those of Culture and Sports on Tuesday, and on Wednesday that of the Ministers of Justice, who will discuss the launch of the European prosecutor’s office, and also of those of Health, who in an informal meeting will address the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the European Union. Also on Thursday Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, will have a meeting with Ken Hu, CEO of Huawei, and also with Abraham Liu, CEO of Huawei in Europe.

The week will close with an employment and social affairs council. In addition, Yolanda Díaz, Minister of Employment, will see a lot of faces with the commissioner of the branch, the Luxembourgian Nicolás Schmit, because in addition to the Council they will participate together in a videoconference on social economy that same Friday.

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Turkey: Turkey on target

Since the signing of the Ankara Agreement in 1963, Turkey It was one of the closest partners of the then European Economic Community. With the signing of the agreement for a Customs Union in 1995 and its consideration as a suitable candidate for accession, it seemed that relations between the Eurasian country and the Union were at their best. Following the rise to power of President Tayyip Erdogan, relations between the Union and Turkey have been deteriorating, until reaching the current situation.

The government of Erdogan, aware of the geostrategic situation in Turkey, has tightened the rope on more than one occasion to exercise pressure on its European neighbors. Its privileged geographical position, bordering on Iran and Iraq and being the country that moves the Syrian war away from the borders of the Union, makes it a main actor to solve important geostrategic challenges. This role has come to interfere in the EU’s own policies, since most of the refugees from the Syrian war who have entered Europe have entered through Turkey and – on many occasions – with the consent of the authorities (causing one of the biggest humanitarian crises in decades).

Likewise, since gas was discovered in 2013 in the Eastern Mediterranean, conflicts over the delimitation of territorial waters between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey have been increasing. The Cypriot government, following Turkish explorations, has requested on more than one occasion the imposition of sanctions on Turkey. The drilling in the seabed would not only have caused seismic movements in parts of Greece and Cyprus, but also would have violated – according to these countries – their territorial sovereignty. Despite the lack of a common front within the European Union regarding sanctions against Turkey, The Union has already imposed sanctions against Turkish citizens related to the Government, as well as against companies involved in oil exploration and those who support them.

In addition to tightening the rope with the EU, Turkey also has diplomatic disagreements with the United States. Since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, the intersection of accusations and the clash between the two powers has increased, at first they were the accusations of the then vice president, Joe Biden, on the possible financing that the Turkish Government was providing to Al-Nusra (one of the local affiliates of Al-Qaeda), the support of the American troops to the Kurdish militias or the increasing rapprochement between the Turkish Government and Russia from Vladimir Putin. The constant friction has led the Erdogan government to also consider Turkey’s possible exit from NATO, which would mean the definitive break with the West.

At the height of this dispute, the statements of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, about Islam, caused a new clash between Tayyip Erdogan and the European Union. The Turkish president questioned the mental health of the French leader and called on other Muslim countries to boycott French products as a gesture of protest.

All these acts have been rejected by the European Union, which has been verified through the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell who has expressed, together with Parliament and the Commission, their rejection of both President Erdogan’s personal attacks and the boycott of French products, which is contrary to the tariff agreements in force between Turkey and the Union. In addition, the turbulent situation in Cyprus has also led to the imposition of economic sanctions by the Union as well as to rethink the commercial relationship that gives a status singular and preferential to Turkey.

As is always the case when international sanctions turn out to be the tool of choice, the main losers are foreign companies who have made investments and are already present in the market. As for Spanish companies, Turkey has become one of its preferred investment destinations having increased investments from 2012 to 2019 between 3 and 4% per year. In addition to Spanish investment, commercial relations are intense given that Turkey is one of the main destinations for Spanish exports of automobiles and other metallurgical resources, while Turkey -for its part- exports a large quantity of textile products to Spain.

The risks posed by diplomatic tension and instability impairs trade relations with Turkey. In particular, the legal certainty on which the foreign investments already established and that bet on the Ottoman country as a developing market and regional ‘hub’ rest (as it enjoys a privileged position as a gateway to the markets of its surroundings). Proof of your promotion and ambition from the local authorities of consolidate Istanbul as ub financial and commercial of the region is the Istanbul Financial Center project, which aims to turn Istanbul into a center for business by 2022.

However, the Turkish government does not seem to be concerned about the increase in tension and is sparing no effort in clashing head-on with its European allies and the United States. It would seem that Erdogan’s dream of asserting Turkish influence over the region passes – with the support of Russia – through feel comfortable on the target.

* José María Viñals Camallonga. Socio en Squire Patton Boggs.

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Borrel says Turkey’s behavior is “widening its separation” from the EU

FILE PHOTO: The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on November 11, 2020. REUTERS / Yves Herman

BRUSSELS, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Turkey’s rhetoric on Cyprus is exacerbating tensions with the European Union and Ankara must understand that its behavior is “widening its separation” from the 27-nation bloc, the country’s foreign policy chief said on Thursday. block, Josep Borrell.

“We consider Turkey’s recent actions and statements related to Cyprus to be contrary to United Nations resolutions and further increase tensions,” Borrell said at a press conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

“We consider it important for Turkey to understand that its behavior is widening its separation from the EU … To return to a positive agenda, as we wish, will require a fundamental change of attitude on the part of Turkey,” he added.

Borrell thus referred to comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who called for an equal “two-state” solution in Cyprus during a visit earlier this week to the Turkish Cypriot separatist north of the island.

Erdogan also said that Turkey and Northern Cyprus will no longer tolerate what he called “diplomacy games” in an international dispute over rights to offshore resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is an official candidate for entry into the EU.

Cyprus has been divided on ethnic grounds since a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Only Ankara recognizes Northern Cyprus as an independent state and has no diplomatic ties to the government of Cyprus, which is a member of the EU. Cyprus called Erdogan’s visit “provocative and illegal.”

The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey for illegal marine exploration when its leaders meet next month. “Time is ticking and we are approaching a watershed moment in our relationship with Turkey,” Borrell said.

The EU has failed to persuade Ankara to stop exploring in waters disputed by Greece and Cyprus, but has so far failed to impose the sanctions that Athens and Nicosia want. Germany, which has led the diplomatic talks with Ankara, wants to give dialogue a chance over the close trade relations between the EU and Turkey.

Information from John Chalmers and Robin Emmott; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano

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Johnson and Von der Leyen agree to “redouble efforts” toward a post-Brexit deal

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, they agreed ‘Redouble efforts’ towards a post-Brexit deal in a telephone conversation held this Saturday, a British government spokesman said.

The source noted that during the call, planned to Taking stock of the negotiationsJohnson noted that, while progress has been made, “significant differences persist in several areas” of common concern, including competition and fisheries.

The two leaders agreed that their respective teams will continue negotiations next Monday in London in order to “Redouble efforts to reach an agreement”, which would enter into force at the end, on December 31, of the post-Brexit transition period, which was formally executed on January 31.

For their part, Johnson and Von der Leyen “will remain in contact,” the spokesman said. If they fail to negotiate a bilateral pact, as of January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) will start trading based on the generic, less beneficial regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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▷ Meghan Markle’s vote in the US elections

Meghan Markle’s vote in the US elections.
OKDIARY

05/11/202019:07

In these last American electionss  Meghan Markle has been encouraged to vote in its public comments. ‘Page Six’ has been confirmed by sources close to the Sussex that the Duchess voted days before by post, and they go further by adding that she would also have exercised her right as an American citizen if she continued to live in the United Kingdom.

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▷ The new virtual BlizzCon will be free for everyone: Blizzard says goodbye to the classic ticket in this edition

BlizzConline will be the event to learn more about Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, and other games.

Blizzard It has been holding a face-to-face event for 15 years where it announces news for its video games, and where fans can meet to participate in all kinds of activities related to their favorite titles. As we already knew, the 2020 pandemic has caused this BlizzCon to become “BlizzConline“an exclusively digital edition destined to maintain tradition from a safer perspective. And with this new format, they also arrive monetization changes.

In a video reviewing Blizzard-related news, products and services, President J. Allen Brack announces that BlizzConline, dated to February 19 and 20, will be free for all viewers. This is, in part, a first for the event: although the opening ceremony has always been free to watch, the rest of the tournaments, contests and collectibles were part of a virtual ticket of 40 dollars / euros.

In spite of everything, a good part of the activities which WoW parents are accustomed to, including competitions, cosplay contests or the fun march of the murlocs, where fans interpret these tribal fish with greater or lesser visual fidelity. Of course, we will also have ads.

In this edition, we will have to closely track Overwatch 2 Y Diablo IV, among other novelties. The former will add campaign heroes and PvE content to Blizzard’s cooperative shooter, while the latter will take a more sinister and traditional approach to the loot progression-based RPG series. Neither has a release date for now.

More about: Blizzard, BlizzConline, BlizzCon 2020, Diablo IV Y Overwatch 2.

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Flanders wields a 1666 treaty to fish in British waters even if Brexit fails

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by hatunruna a lavanguardia.com Sent: ____

Charles II of England had a hectic life. A woman he married in two separate ceremonies, no legitimate children, but a minimum of 12 with his lovers, a beheaded father, and himself spending nine years in exile before taking the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland after the Cromwell’s death. He spent three of his years in exile in the Flemish city of Bruges and, grateful for their hospitality, in 1666 he awarded them the Privilegie der Visscherie, the privilege of fishermen who gave 50 boats from that city rights …

| labels: United Kingdom , England , Brexi , uk , fishing , boris , France , treaty


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▷ Pregnant? Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have a secret kept for “confidential reason”

Lapatilla

October 30 2020, 11:28 am

Royal families do not usually have few members, so Meghan Markle and the prince harry They could be gearing up for the announcement of the arrival of a new royal baby.

According to British media reports, the Duchess of Sussex; who won a motion to delay the court battle with the British tabloid for a “confidential” reason, is pregnant and will confirm soon.

According to the report, the judge Mark Warby granted the delay after Meghan’s team gave a “confidential reason” for doing so.

With information from El Farandi

Shortly after the judge’s comments, royal fans began speculating about Meghan Markle’s pregnancy; as he won the bid for a confidential reason that was shared by his legal team in court.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry became parents to their first child Archie Harrison in May 2019. It has never been confirmed whether the couple will attempt to have children again. But nevertheless; The former ‘Suits’ star is speculated to be pregnant and will confirm soon.

The tabloid, citing a source, stated: “It seems certain that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will join your family.”

Meghan would surely be delighted when she emerged victorious in her bid to have a privacy action against a tabloid newspaper postponed for about nine months until next fall.

The trial was to begin in London in January 2021.

Prince Harry’s wife is suing Associated Newspapers by articles in the Mail on Sunday which included parts of a handwritten letter he had sent to his father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018. “My conclusion is that the correct decision in all circumstances is to grant the request”, said the judge. “That means that the test date of January 11, 2021 will become vacant and the test will be rescheduled for a new date in the fall.”

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Why is it getting harder and harder for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to spend Christmas in England?

Lapatilla

October 29 2020, 2:02 pm

Photo: Archive

It will soon be a year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left for the United States never to return. They announced it on January 18 after spending more than a month on vacation in Los Angeles, where they spent Christmas with Meghan’s mother instead of with the Royal Family, as had been tradition.

By Vanity Fair

Of course, before formally abandoning their life as royals, the Sussexes returned to the UK in March to say goodbye and finalize the deals for their long-awaited freedom, which was finally granted by Queen Elizabeth II in April. And since then, they have never seen each other again in person.

That is why all the British people were anxious to know how the next Christmas would go when Harry and Meghan had to return yes or yes to England. Although not for pleasure, but because on January 11 the trial that the dukes are holding against Associated Newspaper, which owns several tabloids, is scheduled to be held in London, which they accuse of publishing false information about them.

A legal battle that demands that the couple be present in the courtroom, something that in order to comply with it forces them to travel to England two weeks before the date of the trial to keep the corresponding quarantine that the British government requires of those who enter the country from United States.

But according to what has just been learned, finally that Christmas return could not take place. Well, the judge in charge of the case accepted the formal request that Harry and Meghan’s lawyers have sent to delay this meeting in court for several months.

To read more, enter here

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▷ Dos ex-Blizzard fundan Frost Giant Studios

From ex-Blizzard they have announced the founding of Frost Giant Studios in Orange County, California.

Tim Morten, CEO of the company, was the chief producer of Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and has worked for the last six years in the company, although he has gone through numerous studies and has been involved in sagas such as Command & Conquer.

Tim Campbell, meanwhile, was the lead designer for the Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne campaign and has since been involved in numerous projects, most recently Wasteland 3 as director.

The first round of financing has closed with 4.7 million dollars raised by various investors, including Riot Games.

The company’s first game will be an RTS (real-time strategy game) and its goal is for it to be the next great game in the genre.

Real-Time Strategy Returns! We’re launching a new game studio to build the next great RTS! Join us on our journey at https://t.co/qtPYF1CahM! #FrostGiant pic.twitter.com/NRFfu64qCU

— Frost Giant Studios (@Frost_Giant) October 20, 2020

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